Calvary Church of the Nazarene Huntsville, Alabama
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Rationale for the Existence of the Church of the Nazarene
-- For Those Who Do Not Belong
In light of all the different denominations and divisions (Catholics and Protestants and Cults) within religious circles, why should the Church of the Nazarene qualify for a separate existence? What makes this church so unique? How is this church differentiated from others?
The Church of the Nazarene does not maintain that other denominational churches are not Christian and unworthy of the name Christian. Nazarenes do not even say they are better than other Christians and churches (such as Methodists, Baptists, etc.). There are, however, different emphases and/or accentuations which justify this particular branch of the Church of Jesus Christ.
First, this church is more geared toward the essentials of the Christian life: loving God and one another without requiring adherence to a set of doctrinal creeds (as do fundamentalists) that may be more the result of ecclesiastical tradition than biblical revelation. We simply affirm articles of faith which are rooted in scripture, and have organizational structures which adhere to such biblical terms as ministers, elders, deacons, and overseers (superintendents). The Church of the Nazarene priorities the ministries of proclaiming the Word of God to all, ministering to the poor and needy, advancing the kingdom of God by preserving and promoting the biblical teaching of holiness of life, with accountability to one another (as holy Christian fellowship/koinonia, and following Athe simplicity and spiritual power manifest in the primitive New Testament church" (Manual, p. 7). Evangelization and edification represent what could be called the twofold thrust of this church. There is a balance of power between ministers and lay people. We are committed to advancing, on local, regional, and global levels, the biblical message of entire sanctification as the biblically mandated subsequent manifestation of God's grace in the lives of His people who choose to follow Him in complete devotion, determined to be totally yielded to the Savior - not ourselves; to His work - regardless of our particular fields of work; and divorce ourselves from anything and everything that is not worthy of God and His call and direction for our lives.
Finally, we welcome all who share our individual and collaborative understanding of these truths from God's Word to join us in the work of God. We invite all who do not so understand to reevaluate their positions in deliberative and constructive interactions or discussions with us to make sure that the Word of God, which is Aliving and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12), has been Arightly divided or accurately handled (II Tim. 2:15) - or needs to be - to the glory of God!
Dr. Morris Murray, Jr.
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